USF women pull away to 70-48 win over Stetson

10

November

Video and story in the same post? Craziness, you say. Here's video of Jose Fernandez after his team's opening win against Stetson, then the game story after ...

TAMPA -- Trailing Stetson 38-37 with 15 minutes remaining Saturday afternoon, USF's women's basketball team turned up its defense and pulled away to a 70-48 win, ending the game on a 33-10 run in its season opener in the Sun Dome.

The Bulls (1-0) got their spark with three backcourt steals in a span of 19 seconds, leading to six quick points to start an 11-0 run. USF dominated the boards, outrebounding Stetson (0-2) 60-35, led by a career-best 13 by Tahira Johnson. Coach Jose Fernandez liked that his team was able to get the result it wanted, even without playing all that well for the first 25 minutes.

"We won by 22 and didn't play very well. When you look at the score, it's a little misleading," Fernandez said. "You won by 22, but you were down by one with 15 minutes to go. ... I think our defensive intensity and our speed and our depth wore them down a little. You get some steals, you feed off your defense a little bit."

USF got a promising return for senior guard Andrea Smith, who played for the first time since tearing her ACL at the end of the 2010-11 season and had a game-high 18 points and four steals.

"It felt really good to be out there and do something I've been missing for a long time," Smith said. "Just coming out there, feeding off my teammates, their intensity and hard work, it made me want to go out there and give it all I had."

Freshman guard Courtney Williams, who started at the point, was next with nine points, while backup Kaneisha Saunders had four assists.

[Last modified: Saturday, November 10, 2012 5:36pm]

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